The numbers are starting to reflect that Summer Creek High School has indeed made the leap to 6A this year from 4A. Head volleyball coach, Tamika Newman, whom enters her third season at Summer Creek, recently held tryouts for her squad and says they had more of a turnout than ever before. Coach Newman and a few of her girls gave us some of their thoughts on the upcoming season.
To prepare for a season that starts before school is even is session, the Lady Bulldogs participated in a summer league that involved 9 other teams right at home at Summer Creek HS. The girls also took advantage of the speed camp held for all of the athletes at Summer Creek. To go along with all of this there was also an open gym held on campus twice a week throughout the summer and a boot camp before tryouts, so these girls have had a very busy summer, which is good, because their season is early in the year.
Summer Creek lost 5 girls to graduation and 2 current seniors that decided to focus on academics. Thus the Lady Bulldogs will have only 4 girls returning from last year’s squad. Coach Newman is looking for a set lineup and may soon have one after their scrimmages are complete. ”We’re probably going to feature 3 different lineups. We’re looking for some chemistry as a few girls are still fighting for a starting spot.” The expectations for the season from Coach Newman are complex: she expects to beat teams that they weren’t supposed to beat, but she also takes into consideration that they are a young team and could very well lose to teams they’re not supposed to lose to. “I know we’ll surprise people because we’re pretty athletic. We’re loaded with athletes, but we’re a very, very young and very inexperienced for the district that we’re going in.” Coach Newman is also looking for help from a few of her girls in particular: Seniors Iyaria Walker, a middle, and utility specialist Briana Littlejohn, junior Danae Daron, a middle blocker, and sophomore Caleigh Miller a setter/right side. Most of the girls started playing volleyball in middle school and a couple were intrigued to play by watching their sisters play volleyball. Daron has verbally committed to play at SFA where her sister received an athletic scholarship. All four of these girls are returning letterman and will be looked to for leadership on the young team. Summer Creek also had a rare surprise as Ojuwa Osborne, a 5’11 sophomore from Maryland, moved into town to play middle for the Lady Bulldogs.
The girls will be competing in the Cy Fair/Katy tournament this year which is sponsored by Nike and according to Coach Newman is the biggest volleyball tournament for high school next to the Pearland tournament. Teams from Klein, Spring, Cy Fair, and Katy will compete against Summer Creek. The girls are looking forward to competing against new district rival Kingwood, as well as the defending state and national champions, The Woodlands. The Lady Bulldogs gave both of these volleyball powerhouses a run for their money last season but came up short and are determined to make another run at them this upcoming season.
Coach Newman is no stranger to hard work and dedication. A graduate of MacArthur High School in the Aldine ISD, she went on to play basketball and volleyball at Prairie View A&M on an athletic scholarship. She credits her high school coach Jenny Richardson, currently at Georgetown HS, as a great mentor and admired her patience and competitive spirit.
Summer Creek begins district play against Kingwood at home on September 16th.